On the first day of Digital Milan Fashion Week, Miuccia Prada used the format of film to an advantage you rarely find on the runway. In a series of chapters of editorial imagery entitled Multiple Views, shot by five different photographers, the designer showcased her men’s spring/summer and resort 2021 collections through visually diverse lenses and aesthetics. Prada, who announced her hiring of Raf Simons as co-creative director in March, took a bow on her own at the end of the film, signalling that the collaboration hasn’t yet begun – at least not formally.

Photographers Terence Nance, Joanna Piotrowska, Martine Syms, Juergen Teller and Willy Vanderperre each presented their cinematic proposal of the two collections, the first glimpse of Miuccia Prada’s vision for the post-pandemic fashion market. Both lines featured an industrial silhouette with men’s suiting playing with conventional ideas of tailoring through sporty interpretation. The women’s collection added exuberant moments of drama in couture-like volumes and elements borrowed from lingerie.

“Prada evolves and changes every season; this season, the part we were shooting and filming felt like an honest collection. Stripped from fashion ideas, which turns that idea into fashion again,” Vanderperre said, reflecting on a short film that paired a sense of purity with music reminiscent of horror films. “I enjoyed looking at Miuccia’s vision and trying to make sense of it as honest and direct as possible,” commented Teller, who mixed stills photography from a factory-like setting with close-ups of those surroundings.

Piotrowska explained that gesture and physicality “play a big role in the conceptual and compositional aspects of my work”. Her film was the most sensual of the chapters, and showed the Prada universe from its most seductive side. “I’m inspired by the way screens have come to make and unmake us, and what it means to be living, breathing, moving, fleshy things in a world full of them,” said Syms, whose film was a clear response to the digitalised reality of the lockdown.

“The film that came through was born of speed and play, I have no words through which to decode what the meaning is and was and will be but it may be about ‘time’ – and keeping your organs in that vessel we call a body while it contorts itself to love each second as it goes bye bye,” teased Nance, referring to by far the most surrealist view of the Prada collection in the multi-chapter arc.

Prada’s digital presentation was testament to the possibilities of the digital show format, and a terrific build-up to the reveal of her first collaboration with Simons in September.

Previously published on British Vogue